The most obvious difference between a laser engraving machine and a CNC engraving machine is that the laser engraving machine performs engraving by laser melting or burning. CNC engraving machine uses digital technology to control the cutting tool, bit or laser head, ultrasonic head for engraving. The laser engraving machine can be a CNC engraving machine, and the CNC engraving machine can also be equipped with a laser head for laser engraving. Therefore, the two have a cross and intersection relationship.
Although both the laser engraving machine and the CNC engraving machine adopt a numerical control system, they have different working principles and different mechanical structures. In comparison, the CNC engraving machine has a simpler structure. Through the control of computer numerical control system, the engraving machine can automatically select the appropriate engraving tool to engrave on the X, Y, and Z axes of the machine tool.
According to the specific function, the laser engraving machine can be divided into different special machines. The structure of the dedicated machine is not much different. The laser source emits laser light. The CNC system controls the stepping motor to move the laser head, mirror, lens and other optical elements, so that the focus is moved on the X, Y, and Z axes of the machine tool, thereby ablating the material to complete engraving working.
The biggest difference in structure between laser engraving machine and CNC engraving machine is that the cutter of laser engraving machine is a complete set of optical components, while the cutter of CNC engraving machine is a variety of entity engraving cutters.
Difference and Connection between Laser and CNC Engraving Machine
- Both laser engraving machine and CNC engraving machine are computer engraver machines, that is, both need a computer to control the engraving process. Import the prepared picture file or path map into the engraving machine after typesetting through the computer. From this point of view, CNC/laser engraving machine belong to the same kind of engraving machine.
- The laser engraving machine uses the high energy of the laser to cut or engrave materials. The CNC engraving machine uses a high-speed rotating cutter bit to cut and engrave materials. So the two acts on the engraved material in different forms.
- Laser engraving is non-contact processing, which can protect the surface of the engraved material from being scratched. And the laser beam is very thin, so the slit is very small, suitable for precision cutting. The cutting seam of CNC engraving machine depends on the diameter of the cutter bit. There are many types of cutter bits, and different engraving cutter bits are used for different materials.
- The laser engraving machine can only perform cutting and shallow engraving on the surface of object, or shadow engraving. For example, marble, portrait carving. CNC engraving machine can cut or make reliefs, such as relief carvings of some wooden furniture.
- Laser engraving machine can complete engraving and polishing at one time, while the CNC engraving machine needs to complete in two parts.
- The laser engraving machine is non-contact processing, no need to fix the workpiece. The CNC engraving machine is contact processing, and the workpiece needs to be fixed.
- The laser engraving machine can process soft materials, such as cloth, leather, and film. The CNC engraving machine is not suitable for these soft materials, because the workpiece cannot be fixed.
- The laser engraving machine is mainly for non-metallic thin materials and some materials with high melting point and will not produce excessive chemical reaction after burning, such as PVC and foam board. The CNC engraving machine is mainly used for thick materials, and can make 3D finished products such as reliefs, but the shape has limitations and can't process some small hook points well.
In short, in industries such as advertising signs, plexiglass products, clothing processing, leather processing, and product identification, laser engraving machines have been used more and more widely by virtue of their advantages. The CNC engraving machine is more suitable for engraving large metal materials.